When it comes to skincare, we are always on a mission. We want the best products and treatments available in the market from beauty techs with hefty price tags to collagen-boosting serums.
But rolling tiny needles into your face? Is that even an option?
Welcome to the world of microneedling. The DIY home version of this anti aging treatment is called dermarolling and is becoming a popular skincare solution for men and women who want clearer, glowing skin without going to a professional.
If you want to know how these handheld devices work and if they’re on par with in-office microneedling treatments, you’ve come to the right place.
This article will break down everything you need to know about derma rolling including what to do for your first experience at home.
- Users can self administer the treatment
- Recommended for tone and texture improvements
- Microneedling In-Office provides stronger results with less risk
- Cost-effective and Convenient
Table of Contents
- What is Dermarolling?
- Benefits of Derma Rolling
- What is Dermarolling Good For?
- How Does It Work?
- Risk and Side Effects of Derma Rollers
- Which Roller Should I Use?
- What Serum To Use
- How To Use a Derma Roller At Home
- How Often Should I Derma Roll?
- How Long Does It Take To See Results From Dermarolling?
- In-Office Microneedling Vs Dermarolling
- Final Tip
What is Dermarolling?
Dermarolling, also known as cosmetic needling, is the DIY version of the popular skincare treatment microneedling. This less invasive version allows the user to self-administer the treatment in the comfort of their home.
Dermarolling has been shown to rejuvenate the skin and reverse the signs of aging. While it isn’t a one-time miracle treatment, the results can be effective when done right.
The key to getting optimal results out of any dermaroller is knowing how it works and how to use it. It’s also important to manage your expectations and be mindful of how the treatment can affect your skin.
Benefits of Derma Rolling
Besides saving time and money, there are a few potential benefits to be aware of:
- Can improve acne scars, skin discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and pore sizes
- Rejuvenates and brightens skin
- Enhances product absorption
- Releases growth factors
- Thickens the epidermal layer
- Stimulate hair follicle growth
- Short healing time
What is Dermarolling Good For?
Traditionally, dermarolling has been used by dermatologists to treat a number of skin concerns. Now, they are using this treatment to enhance the penetration of skincare products and even to deliver therapeutic drugs.
With its increasing popularity, people are using derma rollers to treat a variety of skin issues including acne and facial scars, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, and to stimulate hair growth on the scalp (not anywhere else on the body).
Others also use dermarollers for plumping the skin under the eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles and eye bags, and reducing pore size.
While some users have claimed to treat many skin concerns, most look to this treatment as a solution for pigmentation issues and for improving the skin’s overall texture and tone.
How Does It Work?
A dermaroller is a handheld device with hundreds of tiny stainless steel needles that gently prick the skin via rolling. The punctures create micro injuries that help enhance the absorption of serums and growth factors for optimal benefits.
The goal is to break the skin barrier to encourage the production of new collagen and speed up cell turnover. The formation of new blood vessels and collagen helps reduce the appearance of unwanted skin issues.
The end result? Younger, smoother, and more even-toned appearance. Think of a youthful glow with improved firmness.
Risk and Side Effects of Derma Rollers
Can Dermarolling ruin skin? There are risks if you do not educate yourself on how to correctly dermaroll. Not to worry! It is considered relatively safe and fairly easy to use.
These microneedle rollers can do more harm than good when you’re not careful. Since the needles roll over the surface, dermarollers may tear or rip the skin sometimes resulting in scarring rather than repairing.
Rather when microneedling in-office, the needles are strategically penetrating perpendicular. Dermarollers may provide less penetration, barely breaking the skin barrier which may not stimulate collagen.
Although this solution works on most skin types, those with preexisting skin conditions, acne-prone or inflamed skin should avoid using it.
Avoid completely if you have eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, cold sores, or warts. Doctors recommend that those who are using retinol should stop using it 5 days before getting treated.
Unsterilized or poorly cleansed tools can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections and acne breakouts.
Which Roller Should I Use?
The right tool and needle length are dependent upon the issue treated and desired results. There are dermarollers sold online for as low as $10 or as high as $1,000 depending on the brand.
Since using a low-quality device carries a health risk, a good rule of thumb is to only purchase an FDA-authorized device.
The recommended needle length for at-home dermarollers is less than 0.5mm. Avoid using thicker needles as they carry a higher risk of damage.
Doctors strongly advise that anything above the recommended needle length should be handled by a professional.
What Serum To Use
The best serums are the ones with active ingredients that the body already produces naturally. Serums like hyaluronic acid and growth factors.
Avoid products with retinol, Vitamin C, or glycolic acid. Although these are popular ingredients, using them with your dermaroller can cause irritation.
How To Use a Derma Roller At Home
Here are the steps that you should know for a clean and effective dermaroller procedure.
First, make sure that you’re using a sterilized derma roller every time. This will help you avoid bacteria and infections.
To disinfect, pour some alcohol-based solution with water into a clean glass. Submerge the derma roller’s head for about 30 minutes, then rinse and let dry.
Prep your skin with a chemical-free cleanser to remove all the oil and dirt.
After cleansing thoroughly, apply a nutrient toner and a hyaluronic serum before going to town with your skin roller. The needles should be rolling evenly along the surface. If it hurts while you’re using the dermal roller, you may be pressing too hard.
Gently, roll the device over your targeted area of skin repeatedly back and forth. Frequently change direction and be more careful with more delicate areas like underneath the eyes.
What To Use After
Add nutrient products like growth factors and copper peptides. Stay free of retinol or Vitamin C until the next day.
After dermarolling, your skin becomes sensitive so you are advised to use moisturizer and sunscreen. Makeup can be worn the next day.
There’s no long-term downtime with dermarolling but you may experience short-term redness that will quickly disappear. Remember that your dermaroller needs to be sterilized after every use.
How Often Should I Derma Roll?
Dermaroller use is dependent upon needle length, skin type, and the issue being treated. New users should start slowly and gradually work their way up to everyday use.
A good starting point to using a derma roller would be to do it twice a week and observe how your skin reacts. Then, increase the duration and number of treatments weekly. Experts recommend using a roller with a needle size between 0.2 – .3mm.
Remember to not overdo it. Always apply a gentle amount of pressure and spend at least a minute on each section of the face. In total, it should only take you about 5 to 10 minutes to finish dermarolling.
If you have sensitive skin, you should go easy on how frequently you derma roll.
How Long Does It Take To See Results From Dermarolling?
Consistency is key to getting noticeable results from at-home dermarolling.
You may see an immediate post-dermarolling glow but it will take about two to six months to see major results. Swelling can be an artificial result, as the skin looks plump but has not been repaired.
The amount of time it takes to see the results can also vary depending on the skin conditions you’re treating, your skin type, and how often you derma roll.
If you’re treating scarring or improving signs of aging, it may take months of consistent use before you see noticeable results.
In-Office Microneedling Vs Dermarolling
Consider getting a microneedling session from a professional if you want longer-lasting and more effective results. It’s always better to see a licensed professional, as dermarolling is mainly to upkeep a quick appearance.
Professionals use micro pens, an advanced microneedling tool, that are more controlled and accurate than at-home rollers. These devices can penetrate more deeply and easily treat areas that a dermaroller can’t, such as areas around the eyes, lips, and nose.
In-office procedures also offer the ability to provide additional add-on treatments not available at home, such as Microneedling with PRP or radiofrequency.
Since the characteristics of skin vary from person to person, it’s recommended to receive an in-office consultation. That way you can receive expert knowledge about if you are an ideal candidate and how to receive optimal results.
The major advantages of at-home dermarolling are cost and convenience. While users report positive results from their dermarolling experience, it has much less clinical evidence than microneedling.
Dermarolling has worked for others and it can work for you too, but use caution. If you’re dealing with more serious skin problems or are worried about safety, a trip to your dermatologist’s office will be worth it.